Recognizing the synchronicities of the universe is often the first step to discovering and mastering your internal compass. Growing up Native American I was taught to look for signs or messages and to pay attention to dreams and intuitions. As a young child I was already recognizing the synchronicities of the universe to find direction and meaning in my life. Some people may know this practice as a Vision Quest.
A Vision Quest is essentially when someone enters the wilderness in isolation, in order to gain insight regarding their purpose in this lifetime. Entering the wilderness in isolation is an important aspect because it decreases the effect of co-creation. When a person is isolated they alone, are creating their immediate environment. This allows for their immediate environment to respond only to their energies. The environment will be free to produce synchronicities that reflect on the individual. When the individual recognizes these synchronicities as messages, the messages can provide the guidance the individual was seeking in first place.
In isolation free from co-creation, the environment will be free to produce synchronicities that reflect on the individual.
This practice is not only for youth and it doesn’t occur just once in a lifetime. The first Vision Quest is a big event because it’s when we learn to use synchronicities as an internal compass but afterwards, they can become a daily occurrence.
Native Americans believe that certain animals are messengers from the Creator and when one of these animals is witnessed during a Vision Quest, it means they have an important message. The individual will observe the message and then interpret it. Messages can come from elemental spirits, our ancestors or our spirit guides. Interpreting the message requires the use of one’s intuition and so it is necessary that one learns how to discern their Ego from their intuition. This is often the tricky part. Many people believe that only certain gifted people are psychics or intuitives but this is not true – everyone is an intuitive. Most of us have learned to question or even completely disregard our intuition. It is understood in Native American culture, that everyone possesses valuable intuitive gifts.
Everyone possess valuable intuitive gifts
The practice of recognizing the synchronicities and interpreting the message gets easier with practice. The benefit of a Vision Quest is that you can learn the difference between your intuition and your Ego relatively quickly. During a Vision Quest it is customary that the individual has been fasting for several days and thus the Ego is mostly dissolved in this state. Other methods may be use to dissolve the Ego such as trance (as done in the Sun Dance), the use of entheogens, meditative practice, etc. Despite all these methods, I found the best way to recognize one’s intuition is, to use it.
Messages can come from elemental spirits, our ancestors or our spirit guides.
When we are trying to interpret a synchronicity, we should look for any significant features that symbolize something in your life and then try to relate your observation to your current situation. For example, whenever I see a hummingbird I pay attention to it because to me, it symbolizes my grandmother whose spirit name was ‘Hummingbird’. The hummingbird may flit about playfully as if to say “Hi! I love you!” or fly back and forth dramatically as if it is trying to desperately get my attention. These things mean something! By examining my current state of mind, my thoughts at that moment or the current state of my life, the message can be received and then interpreted. Another example is the bald eagle – indigenous people believe that the bald eagle is the messenger of the Creator. If we see a bald eagle soaring free in sky, that is likely a positive sign however, if you see a bald eagle eating garbage, that might be a sign that you need to take care of your health.
Recognizing the synchronicities and using your intuition to interpret them can be done by anyone, anywhere. It can be harder to learn how to do this when you are in a co-creating state (ie near other people) but you are in no way at a disadvantage. People that learn to recognize synchronicities in a traditional Vision Quest, will still have to learn how to do so in everyday type of situations with other people present.
Once we learn to recognize the synchronicities and trust our intuition, Vision Quests can be performed in the middle of a busy city with thousands of people around you with little effort. In fact, to people outside of the Native American culture, these daily mini-quests would look a lot like meditating (with the exception that Natives tend to leave an offering and/or have a smudge).
The following exercise is intended for those wishing to learn more about recognizing the synchronicities in your daily life. If you are interested in learning how to recognize the synchronicities and interpret the messages, you can practice using this exercise:
1. Find a quiet spot. Outdoors is preferred but not necessary. Sit comfortably and give thanks to everything you see around. Be grateful for its presence. Breathe deeply. Focus on the beauty around you. Enjoy the colours, the sounds of the environment, the smells and the textures.
2. Do not EXPECT anything. Go into this exercise with absolutely no expectations. If nothing happens, that’s okay. Just keep practicing.
3. Set your intention. In gratitude, offer traditional tobacco to the Earth if you wish. You may also burn the tobacco or a smudge stick.
4. Sit in silence, focus your thoughts on your surroundings and allow your mind to wander between those thoughts. Keep your mind focused on the environment around you but keep your wandering thoughts on the environment surrounding you. Think about the colour of the sky, the smell of the breeze or the cool dirt on your feet.
5. Recognizing the synchronicities. When a sign arises, identify it and then mentally analyse what you saw. It may take a few days to fully understand the message. If nothing stands out to you as synchronous, try again the following day.
Being open to recognizing the synchronicities, receiving the message and having the self awareness to interpret them will help you find your own internal compass. Recognizing the synchronicities is the first step, the second step is learning to trust your intuition enough to interpret the message.